Tsh Oxenreider
About the Author

Tsh Oxenreider is the author of Notes From a Blue Bike and the founder of The Art of Simple. She's host of The Simple Show, and her passion is to inspire people that 'living simply' means making room for more of the stuff that really matters, and that the right,...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at DaySpring.com
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. I am almost afraid to answer this question… and at the same time, I’m so glad you asked it. Almost 4 years ago, our youngest child, Seth, was born with a severe congenital heart defect requiring open heart surgery at five days old, and a second surgery at 5 1/2 months. 3 1/2 years ago, Seth went to Heaven. I KNOW God upheld me during that time. I DO. And there were and are miracles all around. And at the same time, I’ve gotten good at “faking it”.. I so badly WANT to believe my God saves but He didn’t. Save Seth mean.. and of course He did, Seth is in Heaven free from pain.

    My heart wrestles with trusting God daily. I WANT to. I just seem to have forgotten what that looks like…

    • I can’t imagine that pain, but I do know some of “faking it.” I have been dealing with that recently in my relationships, not wanting to let people in to know the real stress of my heart now. I started a thankfulness journal, and when I am having a rough moment, I look to that for a bit of inspiration.

      • I, too, can’t imagine the loss of a child. Like Heather I can fake it with the best of them, especially at work. Also like Heather I have a thankful journal that I write in daily. I add simple small stuff along with the biggies that are at the beginning of it–some1-2 years ago.

        I know the journal helps remind me daily of the little things to be thankful for–even my job, which I absolutely hate right now!

        Praying blessings on your family!

    • I lost a baby last year–stillborn. His twin survived and is perfectly healthy, but a daily reminder of how I must not put my treasure in this world because it can all be destroyed so easily. And it really is all passing away. Knowing that my little boy is waiting for me in heaven gives me an even more tangible thing to yearn for. As odd as it sounds, I think this is God’s gift to me. But I do still live in terror of losing another loved one.

      • I miscarried a baby at 16 weeks last year, and I ache with the loss everyday, especially as we now are still struggling to conceive. I have a nearly 3 year old, and try to soak in every second with him, knowing what a gift from God he is (literally saving my life at his birth when they found cancer in me after delivering my angel) but still question and struggle with believing it was all His will. But Zipporah, your message really spoke to me. I know I will see the baby we lost in Heaven someday, and God was just giving me an achingly painful reminder of how great His home will be for all of us one day. I am glad you helped me see this as a gift, and not a curse.

    • “faking it”. I thought only I do that. I thought only I know about it. Your pain is unimaginable. I pray you will find real peace and can then stop faking it. I have a prayer/thankfulness journal too. Over and over and over I am gratefull that God has given my family good health. It is not a little thing. It is a huge thing. When I read your post I get reaffirmation of how huge a favor He has granted me. And I ask myself, why cannot I see that all my other troubles are nothing, nothing compared to this one huge favor? why cannot I truely be happy and stop faking it? Why cannot I easily let it go and forgive? What is wrong me? I know other people can forgive and let go just like that. Why not me? I have no answers. So I keep faking it. I read somewhere if I keep faking it one day it will become real. May God have mercy on all of us fakers.

    • Kathryn,

      I just wanted to say I’m upholding you in prayer today–I do hope you will fall into our Father’s open arms and find that trust and peace you desire. Take a little extra care with yourself each day.


    • Kathryn, MY prayers and hugs for the grief you still bear are with you!! Some things are painful and hard in our journey and though I think some can only be 100% healed when we all go to be with Him, you can expect a time to come again when you will be able to take His hand in trust. I know it is hard after something so difficult but He loves you so very much, and He will bring you to a “spacious” place, a place where you will be able to breathe in his joy!! Love & peace to you. You are prayed for and loved!!

    • Kathryn, 4 years ago my second son was born with a heart defect that would have needed open heart surgery at 5 days old and again at 5 1/2 months. But he never got healthy enough for either surgery. He went to heaven at three months old. You’re comment could be mine. I KNOW God upheld me then also, but I fake it too. What do you do when God doesn’t save? And yes, of course he really did. But even though we are made for another place, we are utterly seeped in this one. And it is so hard to look past the pain of here to see the beauty that will be there.

      My heart wrestles daily too. And lately I’ve been wondering if I struggle because I what I’m trying to do is to get back to the me that I was before I lost my son. I miss that me a lot. And maybe what I need to do is trust the God that I know now. The one who actually does value eternity and who is upholding me even when I feel so lost.

      And of course I don’t really know how to do that. Those are just some thoughts tumbling around in my head.

  2. Amen!
    Contement is not about us finding where we want to be in life, but accepting (and growing!) where He’s planting us!
    In seasons of sorrow or gladness, it’s bowing to His will, drawing near to Him, and holding on for the ride. In feast or famine, to acknowledge Him as The Giver. To thank Him for being at work: in us, around us, through us. All for His glory…
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. You said it, Tish. Absolutely beautiful. The longing for that “not-yet”–it’s a perpetual ache and joy and hope, all wrapped into one. No wonder life feels like a paradox sometimes. 🙂 But for a God who said last = first, loss = gain, death-to-self = life-in-Christ? I think this is just the kind of sweet tension He wants us to live in–always on the brink of wreckless abandon, with the reality of Earth keeping our tiptoes on the ground, and the crazy knowledge of Heaven spurring on thoughts of flight.

  4. It’s so good to hear that others wrestle with this. I often just think I am defective and/or ungrateful for the many blessings in my life. But I feel like my head goes ’round and ’round as I try to figure out where we should be and what we should be doing. We’ve been overseas for nine of the last twelve years, have lived in 15 different houses, had five kids in four different countries, and now we are headed to the States to do something only God knows. Sometimes I just wish I could be like everyone else, quite happy to plant my feet in cement and refuse to move yet again. And in the next moment, I dream of ways that we could get paid or supported to travel around, never living in one place for more than a few months. Thank you for the idea that perhaps my spirit—which seems unable to sit still—may be twisting and twirling because it isn’t meant to be here, on earth.

  5. Wow is this something I needed to read. We’ve been in Brisbane for a year now, of our supposed 4 year stay. And lately I’ve been wrestling with whether to put my roots down here and maybe even consider living here beyond the four years because let’s face it, we have friends here, live within an hour from the beach and we don’t need to bundle the kids up. But then I think back to Toronto and how our family and friends are there and how much we loved playing in the snow and I can’t decide which one I want to call ‘home’. Maybe I just can’t choose because neither is really home.

    • I so know how you feel too. I come from Brisbane but am living in the USA now. We are in the midst of wrestling with whether to come back home or stay here and make our home here. I love the snow and the people and our life here but I desperately miss having family around for my kids’ birthdays and Christmas and so on. I loved this article’s perspective and it is giving me something to think about.

  6. Home is where Christ is. If we have Christ in our heart, home will be where ever we are, happy and deeply rooted. Accepting and growing where we wants us to be and trusting deeply in His will. Thank you and blessings!

    All good things.

  7. Excellent words! I am constantly changing my mind about what I want, what is best for my family, where we should be, should we uproot everyone and move, should we stay put. Being in our house now for going on 7 years, this is the longest we have been someplace…ever…and it feels suffocating sometimes. But, you are absolutely right! Staying rooted in God is the most important thing. I think that too often we forget that we were not meant for this world, and to try and fit ourselves in will just end up showing us disappointment. We need to lean on him, and let him show us the path to his kingdom. Thank you for this, it is very timely as we are thinking about selling our house and moving 🙂 I need to remember to concentrate on God, and all else will fall into place!

  8. I guess it wouldn’t be a big surprise to say that I get this…I REALLY get it, from the inside out…and I’ve landed right about where you’ve landed.

    We *weren’t* created for this place, so no wonder it fits “funny” most of the time.

    Your epiphany will speak “sense” into the lives of many :).


  9. Wow, could this be me? Why, yes!

    Every. Single. Day I struggle with this! Thank you for your words and helping me realize that I am not alone 🙂

  10. As one who has lived overseas — I think you nailed it. I will never be fully happy this side of heaven. Sigh. And a veiled relief that I won’t always feel like I want to be somewhere else. Now when people ask where home is, I say I have two: one in China and one in America which means I am always home and never home. Two truths lived out in the tension of one body. I can’t imagine what it will be like to not feel torn between places and people I love. I long to be integrated and be the Real Me one day. Until then, I am always home and never home :). Amy

    • It is so nice to know that I am not crazy! I have heard it said of missionaries, that we can never be truly happy unless we are on a plane going from one country to another! I feel that tension and sometimes I think we have “ruined” our chances of feeling completely “at home” here on this Earth–for ourselves, and our children. But, you are right, this will never be our true home, and I am thankful for our life experiences which remind us of that, perhaps more forcefully than those who have never travelled far away. This post is so timely for me because we are preparing to say good-bye to the place where we have spent the last 20 years as missionaries. The parting is bitter-sweet, and still very surreal right now. I know it is God’s will to go “home”, but I am such a mixed-up mess of emotions about it. It feels like we are starting over–without the youthful energy and sense of adventure! We have been away from the States so long now that I wonder how we will cope going back into that world again. It is scary! I want to be content and happy wherever God has me, but I know myself too well. Thank you for your honesty! I will try to remember not to be so hard on myself when I am pining for my “foreign home” in days to come.

      • Cathy, I cried as I read your note. We thought we would be overseas for many years, but only made it for two. But I left my heart there. It is hard coming home and the reality is, it is starting over, but with more wisdom you banked over the years. That will carry you a long way. It took us three years in a temporary living situation until we finally “settled” just this past year. And I so identify with being at the stage of life when you no longer have that youthful edge… my idealism is gone. I’ve found places to reach out to internationals in our home town and part of my coping is also throwing myself into making this house my home. I pray you will find a friend wherever you land who understands and walks with you. My heart is with you.

  11. oh tsh! you are not alone girl…this is me to a T. we have just decided to uproot our family from our southern home in atlanta, georgia and move to minnesota. in fact, just got back this weekend from a week long house hunting trip. and our options couldn’t be more drastic. do we buy the 8 acre farm and get some chickens or go for the traditional colonial with nice neighbors? do we rent a lake home and “vacation” for a bit or settle down in city bungalow? i am pretty sure we’ve ruled out the yurt, tepee and igloo…but still…with a family of seven we all have different ideas and there is a part of this mama who wants to do it all…embrace it all….life is short and God has set us on the path of grand adventure… i get it. arms open wide and face turned to the sun. God’s multiple blessings multi-faceted and multiplying always.

    • I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE your last three lines and I resonate so deeply with them. “…embrace it all….life is short and God has set us on the path of grand adventure… i get it. arms open wide and face turned to the sun. God’s multiple blessings multi-faceted and multiplying always.” So beautiful… Thank you!!!

  12. This is a great post. Thank you so much for bringing our center back on an issue that so many of us struggle with!

    It’s so funny, that CS Lewis quote is in my post for tomorrow!

  13. I love this line…

    “the grass really is greener where I water it”

    I’ve never heard that before, did you come up with it?

    I think that this way of thinking that you have described probably sums up my husbands way of thinking, and honestly I find it frustrating because I am easily content and normally happy with whatever life brings my way. I believe my way of thinking frustrates him, but I’m not sure why 🙂

  14. This isn’t completely related to your post (sorry) but I just wanted to request prayer because one of my roommates has stomach flu. Please pray for her healing and that the rest of us wouldn’t catch it. I’m not sure what the rest of my roommates have going on this week, but I do know that I have three really big exams between Tuesday and Wednesday among many other things, and I really can’t afford to get sick. I also noticed that the currently sick roommate didn’t sanitize anything when she left the bathroom and while I understand that it’s hard enough to take care of yourself when you’re sick and I’m not sure if I would have thought to sanitize stuff either, my fear made me inwardly be mad, so please pray that God would help me be loving towards my roommate as well. I know I should be thankful she at least wiped up enough that in going into the bathroom to grab my glasses I didn’t have to see vomit, because I’ve heard horror stories of a roommate throwing up in the night and leaving it until morning by which time the entire room smelled awful, but I am scared and worried.

    To make matters worse my T.O.M. is coming and during that period of time I usually feel pretty close to the stomach flu with a few added symptoms, and so between that and sympathy pain I am also afraid that I would start to get sick and not know it because of my period and then throw up in an inappropriate location, and I am already socially anxious (another nausea trigger) so something embarrassing like that would be a huge setback.

    Sorry for writing such a long comment that isn’t overly related. I just really needed to get that out and get some prayers. Thank you for reading/praying.

    • Psalm 91!! (here are verses 1-6)
      Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
      will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
      2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
      my God, in whom I trust.”

      3 Surely he will save you
      from the fowler’s snare
      and from the deadly pestilence [stomach flu].
      4 He will cover you with his feathers,
      and under his wings you will find refuge;
      his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
      5 You will not fear the terror of night,
      nor the arrow that flies by day,
      6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
      nor the plague [stomach flu/germs] that destroys at midday.

      I love what Joyce Meyer says about Fear.
      FEAR =

      The truth is – God is your protector, your refuge, your fortress. He is your deliver, healer, redeemer and savior. Satan has come to kill, steal and destroy – and if he can’t get you with the germs (sickness, etc) – he’ll get you with the fear of the germs! 🙂

      Soak your mind and heart with God’s words of protection and healing today – and stand firm in the truth – especially when the enemy is yelling at you from all angles to “BE AFRAID”! There is NO fear in Love – and God is PERFECT Love! 🙂 {yay!}

      I declare healing to your roommate – and peace to your soul!! May the peace of God that passes ALL our understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus today! Pursue His peace. It’s all for you!! 🙂 Kick fear to the curb! It has not been a good friend. 🙂

      Abundant Blessings!!
      Lori 🙂

  15. yes… I was reading one of my old journals the other day and came across something like “I keep trying, but there’s always something missing. I want to have a place in this world. But I’m realizing as I write that we *will never have a place* in this world…. because we are not of this world, but a different One.”
    Pretty deep for my 13 year old self. 🙂
    So this hit home because I feel the same way so often. It’s good to know that others feel the same way.

  16. So very true. It is so easy to get caught up in wanting the next best thing for our lives and families. The funny thing is that by always wishing away what we do have we miss out on certain blessings that God is giving us TODAY. It’s almost as if until we learn to be content in where God has planted us now He will not bless us with “more.”

  17. I find myself doing the same thing. As a military wife I am constantly thinking about moving to our next base wherever that may be instead of being content with where we are now. And as far homeschooling goes I am constantly second guessing whether I’m doing it right or doing enough or even if I should be doing it at all. I wish I could could feel secure in my decision to homeschool and trust that it was best but I haven’t yet.

  18. Starting a new job today after downsized from the one I loved. Blessed to have work and be in a position to bless the lives of others, but homesick for the place Ive served for over 7 years, where routines are familiar and I know where everything is and the names of dozens of employees. Going where all and everyone is new and i have yet to earn respect for my work and attitude. Clean slate. Trying to want to embrace it. Hard to focus forward while looking back.

  19. This year, I’m trying to be more open to what the universe/nature/God (whatever it is that I’m calling that great over-arching “something” on a particular day) has in mind. I am much more apt to over-think, second-think, and re-think my decisions and I find that, as a result, I turn a blind eye to the present moment (at the least) or a wonderful future opportunity (at the most). So, I understand your perspective Tsh. I’ve been there.

  20. I hear you my sisters. We just returned home from oversea living in the last country since 2004 and we are moving AGAIN in a week from Ky. to California. To top it off we are both 65 and have lived in more places then I can count.

    My husband always reminds me we are sojouners here, not to plant my tent stakes deep. There is a God given longing inside all of us that grows as we learn more of Him. It’s a longing only to be satified at the end of journey where He is waiting. It’s a longing here on this earth not for a physcial place but for Him, more of Him.

    Psalm 90:1 Lord You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

    Nothing new we are experiencing…in all generations God had to bring them back to Him, He is the dwelling place.
    This verse has kept me through so many moves, so many changes, good and bad ones. And longing continues. I think I would be worried if it weren’t there for I so see as longing for Him who longs for me.
    Isaiah 30:18 therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
    for the Lord is a God of justice, how blessed are all those who long for Him

    We are blessed girls for longing that is rooted in this world is not our home…blessed by the One who longs to be gracious to us…

  21. I have heart wrestles, too! Love my job as second grade teacher, but wish I could homeschool my own kids. Love the town I live in because my parents, Grandma, aunt, etc are here, but hate this town. Love that my dear hubby quit working in order to figure out something better for him and us, but stress about finances. Love my house because it’s in a great neighborhood, but liked our old house’s yard and hard wood floors.

    When I think about these things, I am reminded of words from Mindset for Moms, “but often we don’t realize that the NOW we currently live in represents dreams of yesterday fulfilled.” (emphasis mine)

  22. For me, I have fight the urge to allow people, human and with skin, flaws and failures to become my idols of satisfaction. I have to remember it is only God that can meet my needs and fill the woundedness within. Seeking to find that in a person will always lead to heartache and disappointment. This is my lifelong struggle, I think.

  23. Wow! What perfect timing to read this post. My husband and I were just discussing this very thing on a walk last night. I’ve been longing for change. A different rhythm. A change in location. But, then I wonder if I’d feel this very same thing in a few years even if we did change something major. Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s an answer to prayer. 🙂

  24. Thank you so much for this post. I honestly thought the “wrestling” thoughts were something I dealt with due to a lack of faith or gratitude for what God has blessed us with. I stayed at home with our kids and thought I should be working. Now I work and really want to be home with my kids. I constantly go back and forth wondering if I’m truly doing the right thing for our children. I just want to be where He wants me to be. Thank you for this perspective. It helps to know that I’m not alone in this struggle.

  25. I totally struggle with this! It’s good to see that I’m not alone. Comparison is often at the root of it, but sometimes it’s just being afraid of missing something better.

  26. I too wrestle with not feeling at home in this world, but this reminds me God’s spirit resides in me and that I am made for eternity, not just this life in the here and now, but for now and forever – with Him! I think we are meant to be torn between the two worlds, and I know that our days on this earth are measured and counted by the Lord, since before the foundation of the world, and we are here for His purpose, the purpose He created us for. So, while I am here, I want to live unto the Lord, but with a heart that yearns for That Day when He comes back for us!

  27. I have similar struggles…love staying at home with my daughter, but miss my job. Can’t decide if we want a second kid or not… like our little house, but really wish we had a yard… etc. etc. Thanks for this reminder that it’s all temporary!

  28. I struggle lately with my kids growing up and leaving home. It’s not a struggle really, because it isn’t something I can change…It isn’t my choice….It is just a fact of life, and the part of life that I am in. I guess my struggle is in learning to accept it and love the season of life I am in.

  29. I needed this so bad today. I have the very same problem with being content for the moment then thinking of where we could move to do something different. Your explanation of why we may feel unsafisfied with earthly places and things is that we will never be satisfied here on this earth. Our home is with Him and it gave me just what I needed today! Have a blessed day!

  30. My heart tends to wrestle with going home. The interesting thing is I don’t quite know where home is. I think of it as my birth place, but that place doesn’t seem to fit all my needs, wants, desires etc. Home is truly where your heart is. And I agree with you Tsh, if you make your home in God’s presences, anyplace in the world can feel like home.

  31. I struggle with the same thing. Looking around and wondering ‘what if I was somewhere different, if my life would be different. I’ve never lived in one place for more than 6 months… and I’m only 23 years old. I now live in Missouri, and after about 6 months here, I started to get my usual 6-month itch, asking “where next? let’s go God, I want a new adventure! Personally, I would love to go to Colorado.. can we go there..no South America, no the East Coast, I’v never lived there..” and on and on and on. And I actually have that C.S Lewis quote in my apartment (and many apartments before this one). And I have never stopped to make the connection between my restless heart and putting roots in Jesus, rather than where I am geographically. But I have been in this home for 9 months now, and sometimes I struggle with restlessness, but I also know that God is here and I’ve heard Him whisper, saying “I think we’re going to stay here a while”. I know that I don’t want to grow old here, but I’ve learned to take it a day at a time. I also know His plans far outweigh mine and that there is nothing more precious and romantic than building a life with Jesus… wherever I am.

  32. Wow Tsh,

    The same thing. Wanting to be planted, but constant wondering if I’d be happier in ________. You offer a great perspective. 🙂

  33. TSH,

    My heart wrestles with wanting another job–grass is always greener somewhere else! I’m ok with my co-workers, but the job has changed drastically since last fall & I no longer do anything that I trained to do in college (AS).

    I also long to move out west to AZ in the desert with land, few buildings, etc. Not meant to be for now.

    Still trusting God has good plans on the horizon for me!

  34. thank you so much for articulating what so many of us are thinking and going through! I feel that so often, so so so so often…it’s the war between work or stay at home, do more with my house or blog? try to grow my blog or do it for fun? bigger house or this house? It’s especially good to hear from YOU who has “made it” in the blogging biz…even YOU have your doubts…it’s good to remember that even what I think that ANYWHERE else would be better. thank you, thank you, thank you. xo

  35. Thank you for this post. Just what I needed today. I often feel the way you write and it is a good reminder that we are not made for this world. Our home is with God.

  36. Incredibly applicable post, Tsh! I so relate, and you put it in words I have not been able to voice. You’ve helped me understand I can be content to be unsettled in this temporary home of ours. Thank you and blessings!

  37. What a beautiful explanation of what I continually feel. There’s a familiar song on the radio and some of the words are: “I’m not home yet. This is not where I belong.” I love being a wife, in ministry, and a mother of four. However, part of me just wants to go HOME! But until then…..I’ll remain focused on God’s plan for me here because there’s work to be done.

  38. I am in a restless time myself. Loving where I am, but longing for something new, something else. Your words today were sweet to my discontent ears. You are right…this is not our home, no wonder in our hearts we find ourselves seeking. Praise God He is patient with us!

  39. I wrestle with the homeschooling thing too, in the end though, knowing it is the right choice for us.

    A big one I struggle with these days is wanting more children. I have 4 under 5 and things get pretty crazy sometimes and we live on one military member’s income but………………they bring me all the happiness in the world. And more would bring more happiness right? I just don’t know.

    • I listened to Joyce Meyer this morning – and she had the Stanleys on. Something the wife (I forgot her first name – sorry) said hit me today. She was talking about Nehemiah and how he was building the wall. People would try to get him to come down and go with them – but he said – “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”
      She said this spoke to her so much about homeschooling her kids. She would get enticed, would start to think about all the things she could be doing otherwise. But God showed her with this verse, that she was doing a great thing – and she could not “come down”. Who would finish it then?
      Do what God has called you to do – and you can’t go wrong. Even if it means passing up so many other “good” opportunities. It’s hard (I’ve been in a season of having to say “no” to so many things I’ve wanted to say “yes” to) – but it’s worth it . . . because God knows the plans and purposes for our lives – and they are for good and not for harm! Don’t let the enemy or the world around you change your mind about what God has told you to do with and for your family! (I have struggled the opposite way – as my kids are all in school – 1 in private and 4 in public . . . yet all my friends homeschool! I’m the odd one out here. But I have to obey God!)
      As for more kids . . . . You know God loves kids! 🙂 We have 5 – 4 bio and 1 adopted. At times I want more, and other times I think it would be so much easier with just 2! 🙂 So – I trust God. If he has more for us – then we’ll take them! If not – we’ll be happy with the 5 fantastic kids he gave us – and know that God knows what we need and they need! Sometimes more kids can stretch a mom or dad out too thin and each kid doesn’t get the attention or time they need. But ultimately God knows! So trust Him! 🙂 He’ll give you that peace!
      My hubby’s philosophy has always been “when in doubt – say no”. We try to “follow the peace”. God’s peace doesn’t lead us astray . . . and we have had peace, even in the midst of difficult circumstances (or even in the midst of my flesh complaining! In my spirit – I still had peace!).


  40. I feel so strongly connected to this piece you wrote.
    There’s a poet named David Whyte, who has an audiobook, “What to Remember When Waking”, and in it there’s a portion where he says that instead of feeling like we’re doing something wrong when these feelings come up, perhaps we should recognize that a large part of being human is about feeling slightly out of it most of the time. Feeling like we never fully belong anywhere, because we maybe we aren’t meant to.
    It’s a part I’ll never forget, and often wonder how many other people actively feel that on occasion as well… Thanks for the touchstone.

  41. So timely!! My hubby and I drove just east of us yesterday to hike on the foothills of a nearby mountain. As we passed beautiful fields and farms, I pointed out how my heart years for a more rural lifestyle, with acreage and scenery and a quieter home life. He reminded me, “Weren’t you JUST saying how you loved our house now and where we live??” We finally moved into my parents’ neighborhood only six months ago, which I’d been wanting to do for many years and it is amazing, and a dream come true! He’s right, and it’s an insult to how hard we worked to get where we are, just to be thinking about the NEXT “move up.”
    I have gotten so much better with being content with the present. But you’re right–we think we can achieve some sort of “perfect happiness,” which will always leave us wanting, as long as we are on this side of eternity. Great reminder! 🙂

  42. Beautifully written, Tsh. We have chosen to live on a part-time income (debt-free) while my husband studies in Seminary. Keeping the end in mind helps on those rough days, but there are so many days when I think…couldn’t we just have a regular income like most people?

  43. This post is so timely. My husband (also a Kyle) had almost the same conversation last night. But it surrounded more about where we are living or going to live, or not live, here or maybe there. We have been in upheaval for two years now. Cross country move, and back and facing moving again. But, I also had the same “head smack” early this morning in my quiet time. So, thank you for the conformation.
    Matthew 6:25-34 but the key’s of what I was reminded were:
    27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
    33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  44. I don’t think there is always one right space to live for someone. It depends on what period of your life you are in, and your nature. Maybe you need a job that allows you to travel, because maybe you need to be in many places at once?
    I know I love to visit foreign countries, but my family, my roots, and my values are very New England. I live pretty close to this part of the country and therefore feel fairly comfortable in the town I reside.
    Maybe you need to find an area that shares your values more… if you are restless your home base may not be right for you.

  45. I wrestle daily with loneliness. The physical yearning of closeness with another human being. I remarried after 7 yrs of being single after a divorce from 25 year marriage. My first marriage was one of stress and a constant fear someone or something would set my husband into a temper fit. All he did was complain and mope until some thing would cross him and them it was cussing and demolition of whatever was closest to him. He never actually hit me but he would break enough stuff and scream and yell that it was just as painful.
    I am now married to a kind and gentle man whom the Lord provided for me. He is a truck driver so he is gone for 2 weeks at a time. The loneliness is sometimes more t than I can stand. We talk on the phone several times during the day but it is not the physical touch that I so miss. We have a church family but it is a small group and most people work outside the home. I try to stay active. I recently had to resign my licence to practice Massage Therapy because I couldn’t afford to keep it up, so there went one outlet. We have limited resources for me to travel to do volunteer work in our community so I haven’t been able to do that. I keep seeking the Lord’s will for me. I pray as a prayer warrior and seek to touch those I can. It is just hard when I want to do so much for the Lord and have no outlet in which to do it.

    • Fredi –
      Proverbs 68:6 -“God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing . . .” {yay! He gave you a wonderful hubby!}

      Many a time, Jesus would retreat to the “lonely places” – to get away from the crowds. Why? To spend time with his Father. He needed it. (I’m going to come back to this)

      God is soo good. He gave you a husband that you needed – kind and gentle. He also knows your needs for touch, communication and love. He is always with you and near you.

      I hear a hopelessness in your voice (post). I want to pray for you!

      Daddy – thank you so much for Fredi. Thank you for this precious daughter of yours! Thank you that you not only love her and want to provide for her – but you will never leave or forsake her! I thank you for all the fantastic desires you have given her – to minister to others, to love others, and to be loved in return. I declare that they are good – they are “yes and amen”. And I break off all lies of the enemy that she cannot do what it is you have put in her heart to do!

      I see this thing in your heart Fredi. There is something sooooo special down deep in there. Because of so many things that have happened in your life – I see a covering up of this precious gem, this precious desire. The enemy has worked hard at covering it up – because he knows that if it gets out into the open and shines like it was designed to . . . watch out world!!! 🙂 It will be bright and will illuminate and shine on anything and everything that is in it’s vicinity!

      Fredi – there is a brightness within you that has been so covered over by the mud and muck that the enemy has slathered on and thrown at you. Let me say to you (from my own experience as well) – that they are all lies!! 🙂 I say that with a smile because – God has some pretty awesome things to say about you!! You truly are an amazing woman – and what you have gone through would have killed many others. But there’s this resilience in you (like that hard gemstone) that has kept going – that has kept clinging to the one thing that you know will not just save you, but redeem you and set you free . . . God’s amazing love for you!! It has been the strength of God that has kept you going. And now, the enemy is working overtime to get you focused on the hopelessness of your situation.

      Let me encourage you – start praising God in the midst of the storms! Thank him – for everything!! (“Consider it pure JOY my brothers – when you face trials of many kinds”) There is a power in thankfulness that most of us do not realize and do not tap into! There is HOPE in thankfulness!
      Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

      I keep hearing and sensing – “Creativity”. In your present circumstances and situation . . . I keep hearing “creativity”. You know the saying “necessity is the mother of invention” – it’s like you’ve been given a great opportunity for creativity and invention! If what you’ve been doing is no longer working . . . what can you do now?
      My sister met a quadriplegic in Latvia in the early 90’s. She could not leave her house, and had little physical contact with the world around her. But she had such a passion for God and to see people saved, that she would use her phone to dial random numbers (this was before caller ID) – and tell others about God and his love over the phone! I forget how many people she led to the Lord that way (it was a lot) – but I just remembered being amazed at the creativity she used to still do what was in her heart!

      I started off talking about Jesus going to the lonely places because I wanted to encourage you in this season you are in . . . use this “lonely” time – to connect with God in a deeper way than you could if you were surrounded by activity and people (and a hubby). I, myself, have been in a season of being “in a cave” so to speak. It’s lonely in the cave – in the physical realm – but what God has been teaching me, and the depth of my relationship and how I can hear him so much better during this time – I wouldn’t trade it for all the busyness and accolades in the world!

      Press into God. He is your protector. He is your provider. He is your lover, healer, teacher, redeemer and more. He’s there to hold you in his presence – to cover you with his love – to be your fortress – to be for you, what you need in this time of life.
      I speak healing to your heart. I declare a removal of all that hinders. And I call out that “gem” that is inside of you girl!!! Ask God to show you . . . show you that gem – show you just what’s inside of you – just who you really are and how special you truly are!!! He thinks the world of you!! And he truly does want to be your sustainer during this time!! Praise and thank him for everything! He’s got your back!

  46. Tsh – Thanks for the post. (were you reading my mind today?! This week? This year?? 🙂 . . . )
    I do long for a world outside of this one. But I also have way too many longings to fulfill on this earth as well! 🙂 I’ve always said I wish I had 100 lifetimes to try them all! Maybe in heaven I can! 🙂

    As for me, God’s had me in a season of just learning how to “be” instead of “do”. I’m a doer – or at least I thought I was . . . but God reminded me that I am not a human “do”ing – but a human “be”ing. 🙂 As he has stripped me of all titles (except mom!) – I have had to learn just who I am – not who I am based upon what I do. It’s been a long, hard lesson – but I’m getting it! But now that I know who I am (a fantastic and mighty daughter of the King!) – I want to “do” so many things again! 🙂

    I’m glad we will have eternity to hang out in that “real world” (not this cyber world)! I’m glad that there IS something better ahead. Until that time – I want to bring as much of that world (heaven) into this one . . . and live that abundant life Jesus said he died for me to have!! 🙂

    Abundant blessings!!

  47. I am experiencing a very similar merry-go-round of emotions these days. We just recently moved back to the US from overseas. We’re living in the same neighborhood we did before we moved. I used to feel so at home here, but now I feel like such a stranger who can’t quite fit in. Our boys have been accepted at a new school, but do we move? commute? stay put? Round and round in my head I go. Should we buy a house and really dig in? or look for opportunity to live abroad again?
    Last week my husband and I started your exercise on making a family purpose statement. We started with words, then a circle and soon it turned into a tree. I have been desperate for roots–deep ones. I thought that those needed to be a place. My husband and I talked with the Lord and wrestled with the exercise and realized that the roots were the values we hold as a family–firmly planted in the Lord. It helped so much!
    This post is just another affirmation of what God is teaching us. Thanks for the comfort–it sometimes feels a bit crazy-making in my heart!

  48. Wowzers the author and I have a lot in common. Like the beautiful Ikea desk in the first picture. And I live in Oregon too. And my heart has been wrestling too… Like should I become and RN? Or study theology and writing? Should I go to school in WA or TN or try something local? The list goes on and on. I recently read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp… being thankful really helps me stay present… because where I go to school or what I go to school for also depends on how I do in school right now, so perhaps I should focus on that more.
    I’m not articulating what I’d like to say very well, regardless great post, I RELATE! 🙂

  49. Loved this post! As our family of 5 prepares to move to Africa for 3 years, I wrestle with my excitement to live in Africa and then my desire to just live a “normal” life here in the States. I loved your reminder that no matter where I live or what God has called our family to, my roots and my home are in Him! Thanks!

  50. Yes. Yes. Yes. I deal with this same thing constantly. I very rarely lived anywhere more than 5 yrs and I find I crave the high of the next adventure though God knows I need the “roots, buried in Him.” Thanks Tsh for reminding me again that the grass is not greener on the other side. I find I need the body of Christ in one place to sanctify me and rub off the rough edges…and then to love the one God puts in my path today.
    I wrestle with this same issue in this post:

  51. I struggle constantly because I discovered in my 20’s that I have totally lost the faith I grew up with. I still hang out in the Christian circles, and have only “come out” to a few people. It took me decades to realize that…to me….my faith had lost its appeal, and it is surprising how much it hurts, and how much I wish it was all true, but at the same time how….relieved? I am that I am not lying to myself anymore. But I am lying to my family and friends. Not easy in the least, and a daily, hourly struggle.

  52. thank you. thank you for these words. i think i make my husband totally bonkers some days with this same brain bouncing. (like this past weekend). i am putting this quote “If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis on my desk!

  53. Wow…most days I’ll read a blog on my lunch hour and open up a blank Word document so that if a line or two really hits me I’ll copy and paste it for me to read or refer to later. This post? I copied Tsh’s entire post and then at least a line or two from practically ever other comment by you wise and kind readers. Today’s word doc is one chock full of inspiration – thank you all!

  54. Thank you so much for this! Could not have come at a better time. I am a single mother of two young daughters, have just moved to a new city almost 5 months ago, away from friends and family, for a job. But I know God provided all I have of this moment; His fingerprints are all over this move and all that has happened the last 5 months. I was just talking about this exact feeling with my boss this morning; how there are so many places I want to live and so many ways I want to be used by God, but having young ones makes a major move, especially overseas where I feel I am being called, something that needs to wait for His timing rather than mine. This entry speaks to how my heart feels ALL the time; there is no place, person, or thing which satisfies like He does. Yet, I still find myself being pulled in two directions: one, towards something to fill and satisify that need; and two, striving to focus soley on Him, whom I know deep down is the only One to satisfy the longings I have. I am going to copy this entry and put it in my journal for those moments, which happen often, when I need a reminder. I am also forwarding this to all my friends, who I know will agree and understand. Thank you for this today. God wanted me to be reminded of His promises. Blessings! ~Jennifer

  55. “I must always find my roots buried in Him.”

    I think this just might turn into one of those quotes that gets posted at home.
    Thank you for this post. I’m another one who is constantly struggling with this: the desire to put down roots somewhere, getting a house that will turn into the “home” my kids come back to with their own kids someday; versus the desire to move on to somewhere that just may hold more of God’s promise for us.

    I need to work on remembering where my roots really are.

  56. My Godly Husband died 2 years ago. He held out hope that he would be “healed”. Some people say that Heaven is the ultimate healing. This wasn’t his “hope”. His was to stay on this earth and be with me, and take care of me. Guess I have some sadness about that still. In December my daughter and my 2 grand babies ( and son-in-law) moved to Colorado. I know it is pretty there, but my desire is to be where it is sunny most of the time. I lived in California till I was 16, and now have been in Arizona 23 years. My parents and 2 sisters and their families are in California. My 28 year old son is still in AZ, but is encouraging me to re-locate to CA. I made an offer on a condo, but am praying for Gods will in my life, and where I am supposed to be! There are draw-backs to both. I really don’t have much of “a life”. I would love to help my parents. I would love to spend time with my sisters, nieces and nephews. Wish I could know where I am supposed to be. I just feel “lost”. Please pray for Gods will for me!! God bless us ALL!!

  57. Amen to this. I love that quote from C.S. Lewis because it’s so true. We really are made to fit another world than this.

  58. I totally get this flip-floppy heart thing. The other day I told my husband I was feeling unsettled, and I couldn’t put my finger on what was making me feel that way. We were on vacation. I was relaxed. There was absolutely nothing I had to be concerned about in that moment. But my heart wasn’t at ease. And you’ve nailed it, Tsh. Reading this doesn’t necessarily settle my heart, but it does give me space to breathe…and that is a gift, my friend.

  59. For me, it’s not only about where we live. I play the “What if?” game for everything. What if we lived in a nicer neighborhood? What if we adopted 1 more child? What if I went back to work? What if people at church said I looked nice today? And on and on and on …….

    This post is so timely …… I heard a testimony at church yesterday about the same exact thing. I think God is trying to tell me something!!!

  60. I was really struggling with these kinds of thoughts on Sunday (though, every day is usual). I actually started crying as church service began after worship. I was stunned tearless at the first point that my pastor pointed out in the scriptures – that “God directs us through our desires”; and WITH that point, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give the the desires of your heart” Ps 37:4. Thank you for this further reminder that this world will never fulfill my longings; only an eternity with my Creator can.

  61. Thanks for this post Tsh. It was beautifully written and I resonated on so many levels. Too often I find myself in an emotional ping pong match – with many of the same things you find yourself wrestling with. My mantra lately has been to not allow myself to be blown like a leaf in the wind – understanding that in Christ my roots run deep and are able to hold me in His presence alone.

    I believe that CS Lewis also said that this life (our earthly life) is the title page – eternity is the rest of the book. What perspective this man gained!


  62. Tsh–I so relate. That quote from C.S. Lewis encapsulates it for me. We had guests over last week who are relatively fresh out of college & newlyweds. They began speaking of how hard the transition from set Christian community from college ministry to “real life” as they see more & more friends leaving Bellingham.

    I told them how I remember one of those pure, heaven on Earth moments of sitting around the table with some fabulous friends. Taking a mental picture, because I didn’t know if we would all be around the table or in the same room together again this side of heaven. It reminded me that our hearts were never designed to say goodbye, and even if we had that moment again…it would look different. Maybe not as fulfilling as we would like, because we know that time would run out before fully engaging life together. My heart is toward the feasting Table with no time to tell me we have to move on.

  63. Thank you for putting my feelings into words! 🙂 I too long for the day when I can finally say, “I’m home”!!! We serve such an amazing and loving God who longs for us to be home with him as well.

  64. So well put Tsh! You wrote about how I feel most of the time. I am restless & not content because this is not my eternal home. It is temporary and we must make the most of where we are and who we are in it. God has me here for His purposes. He will open & shut doors when He needs to keep me on track with His will.

  65. Excellent post about the way our minds and hearts can become confused and focused on the world’s standards to find satisfaction. When dissatisfaction and confusion reign in my heart, I must turn to the Lord and His Word. He desires to be our constant companion in our daily lives, to bring contentment and peace as we rest in Him and “cast our burdens upon Him, for He care for you.”I Peter 5:7.
    We are in a spiritual war and Satan knows our weaknesses. Victory comes when we turn to our spirit and enjoy Him moment by moment. When I contemplate other options that tempt me to doubt God’s direction, I must realize this is Satan’s way to destroy my peace and bring fear and doubt into my being. God always guides and protects us as we are open to Him, obeying Him when He whispers through His Word.

  66. This was so brilliantly written. Our heart has so much to wrestle with because we have so many choices. There was a time when you could only dream of traveling the world. Or only dream of many schooling options (I’m going a little crazy right now because my daughter enters kindergarten in the fall). Now we just have so many more choices and it makes it that much harder to know if we’ve made the right choice. Are we in the right place? People make their dreams a reality every day but there is always something more. It makes me think about the Alchemist. Is it better to keep that longing for that one thing instead of satiating that hunger and actually go out and do it? I have felt much more fulfilled filling those tiny hungers but trying to be at peace in those moments when it probably is not the right time to pursue more. I wonder every day if I should be making a different choice. Should I try harder. Should I try to shake God’s plan and make a movement forward to a new place. Or should I be still? Our culture makes us think we need more of everything and a better version of something we own. A better home, a better job, a better spouse, a better phone, a better education. That’s because those are things we have made idols in our lives. But if we do not make idols of these materialistic and worldly things, if we put God first above all things, then we already know the truth sits in our hearts. It’s in those silent moments when we stop our world chatter. We stop asking questions. And we just listen. We quiet our minds to our true authentic selves. We already have the answer. But it’s still hard not to wonder aloud if “the ‘best’ thing is just around the corner?”

  67. Living overseas, most of the year, in a developing country is difficult. Living in America a couple of months a year is difficult. I have friends in both places and hate to leave them. It is kind of how I feel about heaven. I have friends in both places, I don’t want to ever leave my friends on earth, but-I certainly want to be with my friends in heaven and worship my savior at his feet. I do know that heaven is the only place that will ever be entirely perfect. I just sometimes need to be reminded.

  68. Thanks Tsh – I needed this today. We just completed a cross country move and I’m feeling so unsettled and to be honest, not really enjoying the whole Mommy thing right now. This is a great reminder that I may never feel completely at peace and shouldn’t necessarily expect to.

  69. I woke this morning with thoughts volleying like tennis balls in my head about the man with whom I’m desperately in-like, and the potential opportunity to switch branches within my job, how to regain a normal life upon a return to the States.

    What if he isn’t the right man, and I hurt him more than the other girls he’s dated? What if I do go for this dream job, but it’s the wrong move and I regret the loss of the current job/location? What if I make the wrong decisions about everything when I move back to the States?

    So your post was a welcome respite from my thoughts. Thank you! And thank you fellow commenters, for all your words and reminding me, yet again, that I am not alone in my humanity. God IS here, everywhere. He is the court upon which my thoughts play tennis. But I am human, and I will still volley until I reach that place where He is the only decision. And my what a beautiful day that will be.

  70. Hey TSh. I could relate completely to what u wrote but couldn’t relate at all to your explanation. God? Really? Do you know the term novelty seeking? Look it up, some people experience it more than others. Let’s not say god every time we are confused..

  71. The Lord always leads you where you need to be. I am new to this blog. I feel like I am spinning around in circles and with every spin I am different. I am currently a S.A.H.M. to 3 wonderful girls 14,9, and 4 1/2. I love it. Someday’ s I think its just where I should. be. then I think I should go back to school and get a nursing degree. Other days I think I should sell rosary’s and jewelry I make online like at etsy and at local craft events. Or should I buy a long arm quilting machine and start a quilting business.
    I go between I want to sat where I am in NE WI living in town to wanting to move to mountains in Montana or Wyoming, to wanting to live near the beach in Florida or North Carolina. Living out way away from others and growing most of out own vegetables. To living close to or in a city. I can’t decide what i want to be when I ” grow up”. i am 39 and feel I should have all this worked out. Do we move and up root our 14 year old as she is staring high school. Though she is currently in a charter school that is 8 th through 12 th grades and has 45 students this year and will have 75 next year. This was the schools 1st year. It is project based learning and she is excelling in it. Though she has always had an easy time with school. Would it be to tough on our 9 year old. Can we afford a move. All of which brings me back to work/ school for me. Then what would hubby do? He has been a carpenter for the last 25 years. Wants to change and is currently driving over the road for a great family oriented company. While going to school online for an associates degree in business. Though has no idea what he will do with it. Though he wants to go on and complete his bachelors degree when he is done. Just when I think i know where the Lord wants me. I start question is it that or … Even right down to we have another child.
    Feels great just to put the craziness out there.

  72. I often wonder if we are heading in the right direction, I second guess myself and then look to our God to give me a sign…..sometimes that means taking several detours to arrive where he has called me. I love that He is always there and ready with open arms, even when we fall short of his path for us. I question whether my girls are getting all they need from me, and then I remember that God has his children in his arms holding them and showing them love and I breathe!

  73. I’ve often wondered why I wish to wander so much. Thanks for doing the hard work of thinking it through and finding a way to express it.


  74. I’m going to go ahead and make this one anonymous.

    I struggle with wanting a child.
    We have been married a year and a half now.

    Our financial situation is not stable. My husband is under-employed and until the economy changes, this are not likely to be more stable.

    And, I’m already old enough to having a child would be a miracle.
    Yet, I long for a child. (And, he does, too.)

    I realize that at our ages, having a child would mean that our super cheap hop in the car, stop wherever we want style of vacations would cease. And, I feel selfish about not wanting to let that go.

    I feel so cheated that I met my husband at 42 so we never had the chance to raise a family together. And, want that. But, I don’t think it’s a good thing to raise a child with financial insecurity – especially a child who might have special needs due to my age.

    And, yet…when we talk, my husband and i really feel like perhaps this is not our decision. it’s God’s. And, if I he gives us a child, it’s his will and we should trust in him.

    Sigh. I waffle back and forth. Is this a lack of faith? Is this selfishness? Is it just reality that since God put us together later in life he meant for us to build into other children – just not one of our own genes?

    That. Is what I struggle with.

  75. Thanks for this post, Tsh. You’ve put into words what I very often ponder about the choices we’ve made for our own family. We left our homeland in search of adventure five years ago and I believe we learnt to fly in the process. Every so often though I ask myself how long we can keep this up and if our children will thank us for it when they’ve grown up. I marvel at those who have put down roots and will be in their family home for a few decades, while we still can’t say where we’ll end up. Your quote from CS Lewis is, I believe, one of the keys to helping us make peace with such questions of life! Blessings on you and on all who have shared/commented in all your own ponderings and searching.

  76. I thought I was the only one full of insecurities. Because I assume normal people wouldn’t change so often of mind.

    And everytime my head and heart are like that I end up praying more and seeking for more direction because I don’t want to screw it up. Specially in decisions towards my daughter.

    Truth is the grass is always greener when you water it, but it also got me thinking that God walks with us.

    Great post Tsh, Thanks

  77. Wow. This was an eye-opener for me Tsh. Well, not really. It is something I knew, deep in my heart, but my soul had forgotten. This restlessness, this longing, the “never feels just right feeling”, is because I am not in my permanent home. It may be years before I am there, and that is okay because for now, I am supposed to be HERE.
    What I DO need to realize is this, the closer I am to Him, even though I may be restless, I can be at peace.
    Thank you…

  78. Great Post! Looks like there is much good reading to do here at your site! I always feel encouraged when I come across a site like this with a truly Christian perspective on life and living! Many of these truths we know, but we need to be reminded again and again…because our nature is to wander…

  79. This came at a perfect time as we are far from home right now and trying to discern what God has for our family next. Thank you so much for your honesty- I LOVE this post!

  80. ““If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis” I love this quote! It’s so true. We are constantly flitting from one thing to the next because we’re looking in the wrong places! God is the only one who can satisfy us, and we were not made for this earth. Love your words here today!